Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fire in the Sea” as Want to Read:
Fire in the Sea
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fire in the Sea

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  106 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Sadie is sixteen and bored with life in Perth. It’s summer, and lazing on the beach in the stifling heat with her cousins and Tom is a drag. Then something comes out of the sea.

Dark menacing forms attack an old man, leaving him for dead and Sadie wracking her brains to understand what she saw. Then there’s a mysterious inheritance, a strange young man called Jake and a hor
Paperback, 264 pages
Published July 25th 2012 by Text Publishing
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fire in the Sea, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fire in the Sea

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  106 ratings  ·  39 reviews

Sort order
Scribble Orca

Interview with Myke Bartlett: Part 1!

Oh! Just need to catch my breath. WOW. Btw, those are 10 stars, not five.

A book has to work very hard to counteract my ADHD. I know, I should make more of an effort to stop being a serial book-adulterer but that asking me to stop breathing.

I stopped for this book.

What happened that a relatively unknown Melbourne-based Aussie writer of a young adult (it's suitable for upper middle grade, too) fantasy realism novel that's good enough to keep an (old)
Jonathan Terrington

Well here it is, review number 200 for the year. In case you didn't realise that means I've reached my goal of reading 200 books for the year. Which equates to... 65,840 pages read across the year. And this is a decent book to reach my target on too. A quality YA novel by a Melbourne writer.

I'd like to take another moment just to say something about Australia and my heritage. Our history has lots of moments that I'm not proud of but at the same time I'm glad that my ancestors were on the fleets
Fire in the Sea is the debut novel from Australian author Myke Bartlett and is set in Perth. Sadie Miller is approaching her last year of school but before that a long summer stretches out in front of her. She’s been spending days at the beach with her cousins, twins Heather and Kimberley, and her best friend, Tom, and she’s waiting for something, anything, to happen to shake things up. Then one night she and Tom step in to stop an assault on an old man and Sadie thinks she must be seeing things ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sadie Miller needs to get out of Perth. This town is too small to hold her, and has too many bad memories that keep a hold of her. Like the memory of her parents’ death, and every one of her sixteen years that should have been shared with them. Instead, Sadie lives with her grandparents and keeps to her close-knit bubble of friends, including her two cousins Heather and Kimberley, and her best friend (who wants to be more), Tom.

But just as Sadie starts fiercely wishing for anything to change, ev
Paula Weston
Jun 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read. Fast-paced, interesting characters and plenty of action and intrigue. I loved the Perth setting, the dynamic between Sadie and the people she cares about, and the brilliant way Myke Bartlett brings a fresh twist to some creepy ancient mariner myths.

There's a wonderful sense of menace and mystery as this story unfolds, and the last third of Fire in the Sea in particular is an absolute page turner as Sadie races to save her city - and the world.

Very pleased to hear Myke is wr
Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult-book
Bartlett is the 2012 winner of the Text Prize for unpublished young adult manuscripts and it’s good to welcome another lively new Australian writer. He begins with that very Australian combination of a hot summer day at a Perth beach where bushfire smoke exaggerates the heat with a sense of foreboding which is quickly supported by something frightening in the water; and it’s not a shark. The action moves swiftly about Sadie, a sixteen year old whose parents have been dead for six years and who l ...more
Anni (Tea in the Treetops)
Review originally posted on The Oaken Bookcase on July 30, 2012.

Sadie and her friends are suffering in the heat of a dry Fremantle summer when strange things start to appear out of the sea. Sadie jumps in when an old man is attacked and is unwittingly dragged into an ancient conflict. Now she must help the Guardians recover a powerful artefact before its too late and the wrath of the Gods is provoked.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to sit down and read a whole book in one day, b
Sean Kennedy
Feb 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was looking forward to this book as it is YA set in my city, but yeesh. It just seems odd that in this day and age there can be an extended gay joke running throughout a scene which seems offputting and homophobic and started by the protagonist. She tells another character that he's dressing 'gay' and has a momentary "oh I'm not homophobic but he DOES look gay" interior monologue which is then followed by the guy walking out on the street and immediately someone yelling out "FAGGGGGGGOOOOOTTT! ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this story, but I didn’t want to read it all night. There was an interesting protagonist in Jake, an angsty teenage girl, who doesn’t always treat her friends well, and a second male lead in Tom. Yep. There is a triangle – but not in the strictly romantic sense as Jake’s intentions are kept cloaked.

There are the Gods versus the old inhabitants of Atlantis –now living under the sea, decaying and covered in verdigris, and wanting to reclaim the Earth.

The best parts:
1. Tight writing
2. Goo
May 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book was full of surprises. The sense of unease Myke Bartlett crafted was palpable within the first few pages. I was really scared (which I loved) right from the get go. The way he turned an idyllic seaside setting in Perth into something menacing was fantastic. Central character, Sadie, witnesses a disturbing attack on an old man who later dies. Then she finds out the old coot has left her his house and possessions in his will! "Is this a ghost story?" I wondered. As I continued to re ...more
Mel Campbell
What struck me most about Fire in the Sea was its cinematic quality. I found I could vividly imagine the action as if on a screen; it had the same sense of tension and dramatically visual approach. The action scenes were handled beautifully. I also found myself struck by the economical elegance of certain sentences and descriptions; one that sticks with me is "That bike of hers had never moved so fast." Just a simple sentence, but another author might have written, "Her bike sped down the street ...more
Craig Robertson
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this novel. I have read several other works of Mr. Bartlett and knew him to be a superior writer. This book easily lived-up to my expectations. Mr. Bartlett creates complex characters without resorting to any off-the-shelf standard players. The story is completely original. It takes little time to become engrossed and genuinely care about the action. Best of all is Mr. Bartlett's ability to weave in the surreal and ephemeral in both the characters and the story as a whole. Stron ...more
Jan 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Mystery-magic-fantasy-adventure - all the elements of a good story.
I really enjoyed this book!
This would make a good movie!
Lysandra's, Sadie's, Jake's, Kimberly's and Heather's selfishness clearly showed as counterpoint to the later selfless acts of Sadie, Jake, Tom and even KImberly somewhat.
Looking forward to a sequel for deeper character development.

DISCLOSURE: received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Think Percy Jackson, but set in Australia and the Gods and Monsters battle has more substance; the characters have more depth and the battle has more meaning...internal and external.
Cleverly written, highly entertaining.
Suited to ages 13+
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting combination of realism and gods, with Atlantis thrown in for good measure. I liked the Perth setting.
Frances Atkinson
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it a lot. Liked the way Myke Bartlett used Greek mythology and other legends to explore the lives of his contemporary characters. Great blend of reality/fantasy. Would happily read a sequel.
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cracking YA fantasy with one foot in a realistic suburban Perth. It's quite violent and would be scary for younger readers, but great for 13+ I'd say.
Isabel Robinson
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this YA novel by Myke Bartlett. Particularly loved the Perth setting, and the imaginative nature of the world he created. A worthy winner of the Text Prize. Look forward to reading his next one, whenever that might be!
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it
A fast paced Australian debut, Fire in the Sea is an enjoyable read that I was able to finish quickly, but it left me a little disappointed and I hope there is more coming! Set in Perth and centred around the water, this book deals with Atlantis and the Minotaur – two of my favourite aspects of history and mythology. I’ve actually studied the Atlantis mythology in great detail, but I loved the unique spin Bartlett puts on it.

The protagonist, Sadie, grabbed my attention from the very first page.
Fire in the Sea jumps right into the action. I read this on my Kindle, I believe I was at 2% when the first mysterious creature from the sea makes an appearance. From that moment on, stranger and stranger things keep happening to Sadie. I admired how the author allowed Sadie to recognize that all of the events occurring in Perth are absolutely ridiculous and hard to believe, while still having Sadie roll with the punches, so to say, and take an active part in deciding her fate. For example, the ...more
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
I understand why Sadie is described as the 'Australian Katniss Everdeen' - they have a very similar personality. Um, an unlikeable one. She may have that 'strength' at times to rush headlong into a crisis and save people, but she can be so, I don't know, bitter, angry, even selfish. And I didn't like the way she treated others.

Also, (view spoiler)
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I recieved this book for free through goodreads first reads. This book never had me bored! I was leaping from page to page with anticipation.

Sadie's life is boring, until she witnesses something come out of the sea. Her life gets turned upside down when a stranger leaves all his possesions to her in his will including his huge old house. Later, a young man named Jacob arrives claiming he's the owner of the house and wants it back.
Things get even more dangerous when Sadie's friend Tom it hunted
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
A reasonably amusing quick read, but I couldn't get past a number of plot weaknesses and the stereotypical characters (the EMO, the bimbo, etc). The Greek mythological theme was poor - referring to nebulous "Gods", and including Atlantis and a minataur does not really cut it for me. If authors borrow themes/ideas from the past, I'd like them to be well researched and adding to the depth of the text. Hollywood has done Atlantis and minataurs to death. At least the Drowners were original. I liked ...more
Samantha-Ellen Bound
Fire in the Sea is an exciting mish-mash of ideas – Greek god mythology, adventure quest, time travel, drowned city dystopia, contemporary coming-of-age story. It is exciting to me that an author can make a story like this and set it in a very recognisable Perth. I really admire the scope and imagination of Fire in the Sea, and I think for the most part it all works together in an intriguing and cohesive way.

Would actually give it 3 1/2 stars.

Full review at:
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Looked down and found myself at p.100 without realising I've read so much... I found myself drawn to the main character and it was so pleasing to read a female perspective without her sound whining, over-analytical or dull. She sounded like a teenage girl but one who got on with things. Her voice didn't feel false which considering an older man wrote her... is great. I wasn't sure what to expect so to be swept along into the story (which became progressively more annoying) was due in main part t ...more
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nikayla Bryant
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a great read. It is fast-paced, the characters are relatable, the plot is entertaining. Australia has one great writer in Myke Bartlett. I loved the way he spins the story around nautical myths and an intriguing plot line. Excellent book.
Rating: 3.5. Review to come.
RIN ಠ_ಠ
Jun 11, 2013 marked it as to-read
I hope this will be picked up by a US/UK pub. It sounds fantastic and I really want to read it. o__O
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Queen of the Night (This is Shyness, #2)
  • The Ghost of Dibble Hollow
  • Only Ever Always
  • Inbetween Days
  • Night Beach
  • Ironheart (Valentine, #2)
  • The Grey Mane of Morning
  • Other Brother
  • Son of the Whirlwind
  • Afterlight
  • The Whole of My World
  • Clancy of the Undertow
  • Alaska
  • Girl Defective
  • The Reluctant Hallelujah
  • Night Swimming
  • Love-Shy
Myke's Young Adult novel FIRE IN THE SEA won the 2011 Text Prize and was published in July 2012.

A trained journalist, Myke writes on politics, movies, pop culture and rock music. His work has been published in THE AGE, DUMBO FEATHER, OVERLAND, TRIPLE J MAGAZINE, METRO, CREAM MAGAZINE and THE BIG ISSUE. (And some other titles that won't fit into that very long sentence.)

He is the culture journalist